Microsoft’s Small Business Show, Summit and Makeover

Last November, Microsoft broadcast the first episode of its Small Business Show, an hour-long program styled in the TV talk-show tradition. Instead of tech geeks touting the latest gizmo – or worse, droning executives – the show features interviews with successful small business owners, helpful tips and inspiration to help you keep your eye on the prize.

The show airs today at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST), and Microsoft will rerun the episode twice between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST. According to Microsoft’s Small Business Show Web site, this installment includes the following guests:

Mark and Michael Klebeck – Brothers Mark and Michael Klebeck began selling donuts out of a small Seattle storefront in 2002. Today they sell their products in Starbucks stores across the country. A good example of how a niche product and some good luck can propel a local small business into a national market.

Elise Vincentini – This passionate pooch-business owner makes big bucks by pampering pets – but it took a lot more than kibble to get this business off the ground.

Michele Hoskins – You might dig through that old trunk in your attic after seeing how this divorced mother turned her great, great grandmother’s syrup recipe into a multi-million dollar business – an inspiring story of perseverance and persistence.

David Giuliani – earn how this inventor cleaned up with his Clarisonic face cleansing device. Oprah uses it daily and put it on her list of favorite things.

Dave Dederer – A behind-the-scenes at the small business-side of rock with the guitarist of the Grammy-nominated band ‘The Presidents of the United States of America.’ Dave Dederer has a head for business as well as music. Learn how he managed the band’s business and how he’s now pioneering music in the mobile, online, and digital world.

The Microsoft Small Business Summit
Mark your calendar. Entering its third year, the Microsoft Small Business Summit is a nationwide, online event that runs for four days – this year it runs from March 24 through March 27. Summit registrants, according to Microsoft, can participate online from home or office.

This year, the summit will offer advice from entrepreneurial peers and small business experts on topics ranging from sales, marketing, productivity, mobility, security, financial management and startups.

Over the four days, a variety of panelists will speak, including Cheryl Broussard, financial advisor and author of Sister CEO; Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch; Louis Barajas, author of Latino Journey to Financial Greatness and Small Business, Big Life.

The summit is free, and registration is open now, according to Microsoft.

Total Technology Makeover
If what you’ll learn at the summit isn’t enough to get you to attend, a chance at $100,000 might do it. Summit participants who register by February 15 are eligible to enter Microsoft’s Total Technology Makeover contest.

The winner, chosen from three finalists, will receive the top prize: $100,000 worth of Dell hardware, Microsoft software and IT consultation services from a certified Microsoft partner. The two remaining finalists will each receive a $10,000 technology package from Microsoft and Dell.

Register for the summit, enter the contest, and tell them why your business needs a makeover. Be sure to check out the complete contest rules for all the details, and to make sure you qualify.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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